Thursday, May 19, 2011

If you can tell the future, cancel your credit cards before you die

Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die! This is
so priceless, andso easy to see happening, customer service
being what it is today.
A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for
February and March for their annual service charges on her
credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly
charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now
somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to

Here is the exchange :
Family Member:  'I am calling to tell you she died back in
Citibank :  ' The account was never closed and the late fees
and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe you should turn it over to collections.'

Citibank : 'Since it is two months past due, it already has

Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she
is dead?'

Citibank : 'Either report her account to frauds division or
report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'
Citibank : 'Excuse me?'
Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you -
the part about her being dead?'

Citibank : 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in
January with a $0 balance.'

Citibank : ' The account was never closed and late fees and
charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Citibank : (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was

Citibank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given)

After they get the fax :

Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't
know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not,
you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'

(What is wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank : 'That might help....'

Family Member:  '   Odessa   Memorial   Cemetery , Highway
129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank : 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your

And you wondered why Citibank needed help from the Feds?

Cell phone popping corn a hoax

Darn!  A good fake!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Double click on the blue word "popcorn"
Then put away your cellphones friends!!! 

This is probably what it does to our brain cells - like putting your head in a microwave .
Check this out! And we're supposed to believe that cell phones are safe?
Click on the word 'POPCORN' above and watch.





Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Kuip

Joe Blogs

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2011

Poscast with my baseball hero

The Poscast with Duane Kuiper

There's a baseball bat in my office that I sometimes pick up when stuck between paragraphs. I don't swing the bat, at least not at full speed. No, I put it up against my shoulder and walk around with it for a little while. I let it quiver behind my head as I imagine standing in against fastballs. After a while, I put the bat down and return to my writing. I could say that the bat helps me think, a wooden muse, but that's not exactly right. I could say the bat clarifies things in my head, sharpens them, and that's true ... but no that's not quite right either. The bat reminds me exactly why I do this ... and maybe why someone keeps paying me to do it ... and maybe why I got so lucky.

* * *

One of the wonder of our games. I think, is that they are exactly as important or unimportant as you make them. A pitcher could throw a perfect game in the seventh game of the World Series, and it wouldn't mean much of anything to my mother, for instance.* On the other hand, an intentional walk to Yuni Betancourt in a June Brewers-Marlins game might set me off on a 5,000-word post. It is not just perspective, it is commitment. It is all about how deeply you want to enter the world.

*Then again: what happens on Dancing With The Stars and American Idol means quite a lot to her, and absolutely nothing to me. All depends on your world.

When I was 10, I wrapped myself in the world of the 1977 Cleveland Indians. I don't recall this being much of a choice, but looking back on it I guess it was a choice. Nobody I knew cared as much. Even though we were all 10 in school, there was a cynical strain running through the other kids in my class, and they mostly made the entirely sensible and terribly unromantic decision that the Indians were not worthy of their best hopes. Even by then, more than 30 years ago, the Indians had not been to the World Series in almost 25 years -- an impossibly long stretch of time to a 10-year-old -- and the last time Cleveland HAD reached the World Series it was upset and swept and humiliated by the New York Giants. The Indians were of great interest, of course, because we were kids, and they were our baseball team. But the other kids in school seemed to understand what I plainly did not ... that the Cleveland Indians were not very good at baseball.

I pinned my hopes on them every year -- full, unabashed, unchained hopes. I was not much into analysis. To me, Rick Waits could be Ron Guidry. Why couldn't he? Rick Manning could be Fred Lynn. Buddy Bell could be George Brett. Jim Kern could be Goose Gossage. Charlie Spikes could be Dave Parker. I believed in the depth of potential, the certainty that any of us could wake up tomorrow and be someone else, someone better. I was, at the time, the shortest kid in class, the one wearing the thick glasses, the kid who so clearly wasn't the smartest or the most athletic or most artistic or most musical or most anything.

But tomorrow, who knows? I kept believing in the power of tomorrow morning.

Duane Kuiper was my hero on those Indians teams. There was an uncomplicated reason for this. Kuip played second base and I played second base. When you are 10, you don't need much more than that. The kid next door can be your best friend because ... he's the kid next door. Accessibility is 90% of everything when you are 10.

That said, I'm not sure that if I had played shortstop that Frank Duffy would have been my hero. There was something Duane Kuiper, something about the way he played baseball that deepened and strengthened the connection. I've tried to explain it before ... Duane Kuiper, I feel quite certain, dived for more ground balls than any player of his era. Players would later tell me they called him "Step and a dive Kuiper," and that matches my memory. He was ALWAYS on the ground. This seems kind of a funny thing now, a quirky thing, but then it only meant to me that Duane Kuiper cared more and made more plays than anyone else. It never occurred to me, not even once, that perhaps other second basemen, like the regal Frank White, were making the same plays standing up. I can assure you that no one in the South Euclid Little League dived for more ground balls than I did.

Duane's weaknesses as a player have been well-covered on this blog. He could not get on base as often as you might hope for an every day player -- his .325 career on-base percentage was below league average. He could not run particularly fast. His stolen base percentage -- he stole 52 bases and was caught 71 times -- is one of the worst in baseball history. Most famously, he hit one home run in a startlingly long career.

And yet, the career was long. Kuip got 1,000 games in the big leagues -- more than any non-pitcher with one or fewer homers. Why did he play so long? I didn't know for sure as a kid, but I'm sure I sensed it. Everybody loved Duane Kuiper. They loved how hard he played. They loved the cheerful attitude he brought with him to every game. They loved the knowledge that he would dive for every ground ball, and that he would almost always put the ball in play, and that he would play with everything he had all the time. It is human nature, I think, to lean to the C+ person who is giving everything over the B- person who is not. Duane Kuiper exuded joy and effort. For a 10-year-old boy entirely certain that he had been given no particular talents, that made Kuip everything I wanted to be.

* * *

I've written this before ...  I never once, my entire childhood, had anyone tell me that I could write well. Not once. I know people in this crazy journalism business, a lot of them, who have always known their destiny, who started neighborhood newspapers when they were 3, who broke the story of lunchroom corruption when they were in the fifth grade, who wrote their first novel at 11. I meet more and more young people who know their destiny, and I admire and am even a bit jealous of their conviction.

Because no one ever told me that I could write, I was obsessed in my early journalism years with the concept of "talent." I would ask myself (and anyone who would listen) the same question: Am I TALENTED enough to make a living as a sportswriter? The answers were generally unsatisfying. None of my closest friends knew any sportswriters. My parents did not know any sportswriters. And so, it was a foreign world for them. Was I talented enough? How would they know? I wasn't a bad speller. I put too many commas in my sentences -- cut down on those. Try not to use too many big words. Beyond that, though, none of them could really help me. Was I talented enough? The best plan, everyone agreed, seemed to be to keep doing it until they called me in and made me turn in my playbook.

But, it turns out, that plan was exactly right for me. It was the plan I had unknowingly learned from Duane Kuiper. See, he played in the big leagues without speed and without power, he played in the big leagues by showing up every day filled with energy and life and the stubbornness to dive for every ground ball, the hunger to put the ball in play over and over in the hopes that enough of them would squeeze through. Now, years later, I realize that THIS is talent too, maybe the most useful talent, the talent of the every day. I worked absurdly hard ... I really did. I read everything. I wrote constantly. I traveled as far away as they would let me, to the smallest towns they could find, to write the stories that would appeal to the fewest people. And I did it all joyfully, because in time I found that I loved writing about as much as Duane Kuiper loved baseball. That was my talent. I loved this stuff.

I once heard Bruce Springsteen talk about the story behind one of his songs. And when he finished explaining the song, line for line, he said something like this: "How much of this was I actively thinking when I wrote the song? None of it. But how much of it was INSIDE me when I wrote this song? All of it." That's what I think about my connection to Duane Kuiper. I was just a short 10-year-old kid with glasses who lived in Cleveland. Had I grown up in Kansas City, I'm sure my hero would have been Frank White. Had I grown up in New York, it would have been Willie Randolph. Had I grown up in Boston, it might have been Rick Burleson. So when I flopped around and pretended to be Duane Kuiper day after day -- in the backyard, in my basement, on the diamond-hard Little League fields of Bexley Park -- I was not thinking about how much that connection would shape my life.

But all of it was inside me. I'm a prisoner of narrative -- one of the hazards of the job, I suppose -- but I remain convinced that a part of how I ended up doing what I'm doing and living the lucky life I live was that when I was a kid I watched Duane Kuiper play baseball and wanted to be just like him.

* * *

It was inevitable, I suppose, that Duane Kuiper would find out that he was my hero. I mean, I wrote about it a lot. Duane, as longtime announcer for the Giants, was certain to hear about it.

Duane is an extremely modest man ... he knows exactly what kind of player he was. And, at the same time, I think he takes a lot of pride in his career, as he should. He played in the big leagues! How many people can say that? What's more, he STARTED in the big leagues! Of all the kids in the world who play baseball, he was one of the few to reach the pinnacle, to really live the dream, and he loved it, every minute of it.

And, deep down, I think most ballplayers, maybe even all ballplayers, would love to think that they inspired someone. I would love to ask Barry Bonds that question. He seemed so bitter at times, so angry at times, so cheated at times ... but deep down I can't help but wonder: Didn't he want to believe that there was a kid out there -- maybe a bitter kid, maybe an angry kid, maybe a kid who felt cheated by life -- who watched him play and was inspired and became something he might not have otherwise become? Corny, sure, but don't we all wish that just a little bit?

I know Duane wished it. In a long history of baseball players, Duane Kuiper does not stand out except for the single home run he hit off Steve Stone. But in his own history, in his own life, his is a remarkable story. He is the son of a Wisconsin dairy farmer. To this day, he wakes up early every morning. He worked hard on the farm, and he worked hard at baseball, making himself the best player he could become. I know Duane wished that there was someone, maybe a few someones, out there who were just a little bit inspired by his story.

A year or so ago, a long tubular package came by mail. It was in my office when I first saw it. I opened it up ... and inside was a Duane Kuiper used bat. He thought I might like it.

Whenever I'm stuck between paragraphs, I pick up that bat and let it remind me ... of something ... something as important to me as just about anything.

* * *

This week, as mentioned, the Poscast is with Duane Kuiper. Among the many great bits her shared was this: Duane is almost certainly the only player of recent vintage, probably ever, to seriously consider failing a physical so that he could stay in Cleveland. He is, undoubtedly, the only person to get married in Hawaii and honeymoon in Cleveland. He is also the greatest guy in the world; there's no better feeling than having your hero live up to all your expectations and go beyond.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Will Rogers had many thoughts. Here's a few. 

Enjoy the following:
1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman.
Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it
and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence
and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then
to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.


First ~Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying
about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers.
Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth,
think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging
is that it's such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks,
it was called witchcraft.
Today it's called golf.

And, finally ~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble,
you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.

Monday, March 28, 2011


A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right -- only who is left.

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

To steal idea from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted paychecks.

Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "In an emergency, notify:" I put " A DOCTOR."

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others, whenever they go.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.

I always take life with a grain of salt... plus a slice of lemon... and a shot of tequila.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Bee Bop - click video

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's
March/April 2011

Me and Pinetop
Mitch Woods' Boogie Woogie Blowout featuring Pinetop Perkins
Mitch Woods' Boogie Woogie Blowout featuring Pinetop Perkins
In case you haven't already heard we lost one of our great piano legends-Pinetop Perkins this week.
One of the highlights of my career was presenting him at my Boogie Woogie Blowout in 2009. He stole the show when he came out midway rather than at the finale and wanted to play piano. Here is a link to the YouTube video that I would like to share. It is priceless! We will miss you Mr. Pinetop.
Click on picture to link to YouTube and enjoy.

Upcoming Gigs
3/25/11, Vancouver,B.C The Yale
Please note date change from Sat 26 to Sun 27 due to private party at club.
3/27/11,Vancouver,B.C. The Yale
3/30/11, San Francisco, CA, Biscuits & Blues
biscuits and blues
4/2/11, Palo Alto,CA, John's Shop- Birthday Party(see below for details)

4/3/11, Princeton, CA  Half Moon Bay Brewery  
half moon bay brewery

4/13/11 San Francisco, CA  Pier 23 Cafe   solo
Pier 23 Cafe

4/16/11 San Jose, CA  Poorhouse Bistro
poorhouse bistro

4/29/11 New Orleans, LA  Carousel Bar, Hotel Monteleone  solo

4/30/11 New Orleans, LA  Creole Gardens Guest House Pre-JazzFest Party
creole gardens

5/1/11 New Orleans, LA  New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival  Blues Tent
New Orleans Jazz Fest

5/5/11 Memphis, TN  Blues Music Awards  Cook Convention Center
Blues Foundation

House Of Blues Radio Hour Airing Mitch Woods Interview March 26,27
Click Here to Watch and listen:The Blues Mobile
hob mastheadMar 26-27, 2011   
Road trip in the Bluesmobile this week on the Radio Hour. Elwood stops by Mitch Woods' house, where Mitch has his piano tuned up and ready to play. Get schooled in piano blues with tracks from Gumbo Blues, Mitch's tribute to New Orleans bluesman Smiley Lewis. Elwood also spins tracks from Charles Brown, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Dave Edmund, Honey Piazza, and Ray Charles. Mitch will educate the listener on what happens when you put a little boogie woogie on the blues, and what happens when you put a little New Orleans spin on top of that. Mitch Woods performs live from his living room.

Come join us for Mitch's Birthday weekend in S.F. Bay Area
umbriajazzshot1Join Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88's at Half Moon Bay Brewery in Princeton CA Sunday April 3 from 4-8pm Half Moon Bay Brewery for a great day of partying on the coast.
Also the pre-party at John's Shop-2417 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto Saturday April 2 from 5-9pm call 650-858-2293 for more info.
                                     Bring your dancing shoes!

     Upcoming Festivals already booked for 2011
Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's Live in Istanbul
Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's Live in Istanbul
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival-May 1
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival-IA-July 3
Vitoria Jazz Festival-Spain-July 12-16
Bluestock-Hunter Mtn. N.Y.-Aug 26-27
Rhythm & Roots Festival-Charlestown RI-Sept 4
Monterey Jazz Festival-CA-Sept. 17

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's are available for clubs, private events, and festivals worldwide.
For Booking Contact:

Look forward to boogeyin' with you in your neck o' the woods comin' up.

mitch woods
Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lolcat noted by Clay Shirky in  Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

They were not as "green" as we are.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic
bags weren
't good for the environment.  The woman apologized to her and
explained, "We didn
't have the green thing back in my day."

's right, they didn't have the green thing in her day.  Back then,
they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.  But
they didn
't have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs because they didn
't have an escalator
in every store and office building.  They walked to the grocery store and
't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two
blocks.  But she
's right.  They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby
's diapers because they didn't have the
throw-away kind.  They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 220
volts.  Wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.  But that old lady is right.  They didn
't have
the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every
room.  And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a
screen the size of the state of Montana.  In the kitchen, they blended and
stirred by hand because they didn
't have electric machines to do everything for
you.  When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded
up newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn
't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut
the lawn.  They used a push mower that ran on human power.  They exercised by
working, so they didn
't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills
that operate on electricity.  But she
's right, they didn't have the green thing
back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.  They refilled
pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades
in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade
got dull.  But they didn
't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to school,
or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi
service.  They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of
sockets to power a dozen appliances.  And they didn
't need a computerized
gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in
space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right.  They didn
't have the green thing back in her